Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world which might deter some budget travelers from visiting Russian capital.
Unfortunately there are not that many affordable accommodation options in Moscow unlike in some other European cities or even in St.Petersburg. Our Northern capital (this is how Russians often call St. Petersburg) boasts a larger array of budget hotels and hostels than Moscow. This might be surprising for some since Moscow is the capital and cultural centre of the country. However, St. Petersburg attracts more young tourists than Moscow, plus the prices there in general are lower. Thus there are more budget-friendly lodging available in St. Petersburg.
Moscow is getting better though. One can now find more variety in the area of cheap accommodation. On average, a night in a decent 3 star hotel can cost around £100 ($168) per night in Moscow (minimum £200 ($340) in a 5 star hotel), whereas hostels offer beds under £15 ($25) per night.
According to Moscow city hall stats there were circa 290 hotels in Moscow in 2011 offering 46,000 rooms including small hotels and hostels. Around 65% of those were 3 to 5 star hotels, which means there is still scope for more of low-cost accommodation in Moscow.
Here is a list of some hostels that I think look great. Not all of them are super cheap but I’d definitely stay there if I were traveling to Moscow as a tourist.
Simple, nice and clean. Nothing over the top, just the way I like it!
Cool hipster place. It’s not a simple hostel, it is also a gallery. Perfect place for the arty tourists.
Looks like an easy-going, comfy place to stay and meet new people. I like their colorful design.
Veeeery stylish! Looks like a boutique mini hotel.
Cheerful and cozy. I really like the idea with curtains next to the dorm beds. It adds a bit more privacy…
Indie House Hostel
This hostel is situated in a historical building erected in 1913-14 just a few steps away from New and Old Arbat.
It’s best to prebook those hostels in advance!
If for some reason you are left without accommodation, here are some alternative options where to spend a night in Moscow:
Why not watch a few movies instead of sleeping? This could be an option for some leaving Moscow early in the morning, and of course for those who are able to give up good night sleep for some cinematography. ‘Non-stop’ night film screenings are available on Friday and Saturday in “35mm” (films in English available) and “Khudozhestvenny” cinemas. That option will cost you around 300-500 rubles (£5-8, $9-14)
One of the recent trends in Russian cafe scene is Time cafe or Anti-Cafe, where one pays for the time spent in a venue rather than for food or drinks. Fee is around 2 rubles per minute. “Time club Gnezdo” is open 24 hours. It usually gets quiet at night in such cafes, so one won’t be disturbed. Unlimited tea, coffee and biscuits are available. Perfect place to spend a few night hours in Moscow.
This is also a great option for those looking for free accommodation. Couchsurfing is becoming more and more popular in Moscow nowadays. However, it’s still not that fashionable compared to other countries.